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15 Life Lessons Learned From Primatologist Jane Goodall

15 Life Lessons Learned From Primatologist Jane Goodall

In the world of biology, Jane Goodall is one of the biggest rockstars, drawing huge crowds and attention everywhere she goes. Having dedicated her life to the study of chimpanzees and crusading to save our planet, Goodall’s work is full of passion and meaning. Here are a few lessons we can learn from her.

Make time to read

Though she often has little time to spare, Goodall always reads a few chapters of a book every night. She credits reading Tarzan and the Apes to putting her on her path to explore Africa. Reading was also responsible for one of her greatest opportunities: when she met Louis Leakey she impressed him with her vast knowledge of Africa-knowledge she had obtained solely from books.

Value your family

Goodall frequently travels with her family and cites her mother as one of her biggest inspirations. As a child growing up she was always exploring and asking questions. Instead of scolding her or trying to suppress her curiosity, her mother encouraged Goodall, something she says is the reason why she was able to be so successful.

Don’t let school get in the way of your education

Goodall went from secretary school straight to getting her doctorate degree. Leakey famously told her that she couldn’t waste the time getting an undergraduate degree; she had to go straight to the top of academics. That had to be intimidating for a young girl back then with no training other than as a secretary, with most of her knowledge being self taught. But under her supervisor’s guidance she excelled and went on to change the science world forever.

Treasure this earth

Goodall is a famous activist for wildlife preservation. She has seen firsthand what is being done to this earth and she uses her position to mitigate it. Goodall has written several books about our planet’s decline as well as ways that we can restore it. She even started a group Roots and Shoots, an international community action based program, to help teach children about what is going on and how they can help.

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    Leave a legacy

    Roots and Shoots is just a part of the greater Jane Goodall Institute. The JGI is a nonprofit founded by Jane Goodall that empowers others to make a difference in this world. The institute focuses on preservation, alleviating poverty, increasing education and sustainable living. Through the JGI and programs like Roots and Shoots, the legacy of Jane Goodall will live on and help to make the world a better place.

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      Practice compassion

      Goodall has seen her share of horrific practices and treatment of chimpanzees and other species. She dedicated her life to studying and helping these creatures but focused her charity only on animals. One day on a flight over Gombe National Park she saw the abject poverty the people there lived in. She realized then that until a person could feed their families they wouldn’t care about saving animals and that it was irrational to ask starving men to stop poaching when it was their only way of making money. She has since extended her charities to helping humanity and eradicating poverty.

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        Don’t just theorize, act

        Goodall is not just theory and talk, she is about action. Her institute is at the forefront of bringing the inhumane treatment of animals to the public’s attention. Her most recent crusade is urging aquariums around the world to phase out the practice of keeping beluga whales and dolphins in captivity.

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        Persistence pays off

        Goodall’s work in Tanzania was arduous and slow, getting familiar with chimpanzees to let her get close enough to observe them before collecting the data and defending her methodology. But eventually her persistence payed off and entire scientific volumes have been written about her discoveries. She even discovered that chimpanzees used modified tools — a trait beforehand only given to distinguish humans.

        There are many teachers in life

        Not all of Goodall’s learning was from books or academics. She gives credit to a dog named Rusty and the chimpanzees she worked with for teaching her compassion and that animals can have unique personalities too. Goodall gave her chimpanzees names and wrote their personalities down as scientific notes! She believes that science must become more empathetic or we will miss crucial elements of what we are studying.

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          Your comfort zone is just a suggestion

          The average chimpanzee is 3-5 times stronger than an average human. Picture a young Jane Goodall, no protection, no weapons, sitting just a few feet from foraging chimps — now that’s getting out of your comfort zone! She was in very real danger, enduring charges by the males, as well as the elements and diseases of Africa including Malaria and African sleeping sickness. Goodall proves that only by getting out of our comfort zone can we achieve greatness.

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            Age does not define you

            Jane Goodall is almost 81 years old yet she travels more than 300 days a year. She marches in protests, she speaks at schools and conferences, and she is personally involved in her institute all at an age well past retirement. Her strong sense of purpose and determination enables her to do things most never dream of at an age that most don’t think they’ll ever reach.

            You can get more done together

            Goodall is famous for saying that the best way to deal with your enemy is to make them your friend. She has met with heads of the logging industry, petroleum and even lab scientists to listen and exchange ideas and from those meetings real change has occurred. She has recently partnered with Google to bring views of Gombe National Park to every computer screen on earth in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees around the world. She also partners with several local groups in Africa and starts Roots and Shoots programs to get more people involved.

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              Technology can connect us and teach us

              Along with her partnership with Google, Goodall also uses online platforms like Twitter and YouTube to raise awareness and spread her message. The JGI releases animal videos that go viral; the more they are shared the more people cannot ignore their messages and the faster change happens.

              Sometimes luck plays a huge role

              While Goodall is an incredibly hard worker with legendary determination, luck did play a role in her career. Her mother encouraged her to go to secretary school. She was then chosen to be the secretary for Louis Leakey, a famous scientist and explorer. She impressed Leakey so much that he mentored her and encouraged her to get her PhD and continue her research. Without this chain of events, who knows what Goodall’s life would have led to?

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              Never give up hope

              The most important message Goodall gives is to never, never, never give up hope. Hope is the one thing that keeps her going, the main reason she founded the JGI. She has hope in mankind and in the future. She believes that the combined efforts of the human brain, the indomitable human spirit, the resiliency of nature and the determination of young people can and will bring this planet back and stop the extinction of species and the decimation of the wild

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                I had the honor of meeting Dr. Goodall when she came to speak at Georgia State University. What struck me at first was how frail she seemed, she is almost 81 after all. But from the moment she opened her mouth and gave out a loud female chimpanzee greeting call I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. Her life gives us many lessons about love, compassion, determination, change, and truly living. But the main message to take away is to never give up hope.

                Featured photo credit: Jane visits the World Bank via flickr.com

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                1 The Key to Happiness and Leading a Fulfilling Life 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success 4 What Is an Existential Crisis and How to Cope with It 5 Joy Vs Happiness: What’s the Difference and Can We Achieve Both?

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                Last Updated on April 23, 2019

                13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

                13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

                Let me begin by being 100% frank with you – everyone is capable of happiness.

                Happiness is first a choice but it also takes persistence to maintain. Happiness is our birth right and my mission is to help as many people as I can live their happiest life.

                My mission is to spread the message that everyone deserves happiness.

                To live a happy life; however, you must do the work, gain the necessary knowledge, and increase your awareness.

                You must fully embody this state and begin to think and feel happiness on every level of your being.

                Often times, excuses present themselves and our mind gives us the reasons why we can’t be happy:

                “I am too busy right now to focus on happiness”

                “I will be happy when I finish school, when I have the money, when I am in the right relationship, when I have kids, when my children are older….”

                “I would have had a happy life if this traumatic event had never happened”

                “I don’t deserve happiness”

                EVERYONE deserves happiness. The reason that you are here right now is because you have a purpose and you are on the earth to enjoy your journey.

                Think BIGGER than your excuses. Push FARTHER than your complaints.

                Don’t be pulled away from greatness. Get uncomfortable. At least these are what happy and successful people do on a daily basis.

                This article highlights the top 13 tips and tricks of how happy people think and feel.

                If you would like to begin embodying this life-changing state, then… Here are the 13 ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently:

                1. Happy People Put Happiness First

                Happy people have made the decision that their end goal is happiness.

                Every situation, event, bad day ultimately ends with happiness.

                To them, happiness is equivalent to sleep and water – it is a necessity to their life. To live an unhappy life is to have never lived at all.

                The happy person asks,

                “What would be the point of living if every day and moment were filled with negativity?”

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                “Why would I deplete my energy on negativity when I expend less to be positive?”

                They make happy-based decisions which means in EVERY MOMENT they choose happiness.

                If their circumstances can’t change then they instead change their perspective, they look for the silver lining in the negative.

                Happy people don’t let negativity steal their moments away – a positive mindset always prevails.

                If you ask a happy person how their day was, they will always answer your question with a highlight or a lesson learned.

                2. Happy People Embrace Pain

                I know what you are thinking –

                “No one is ALWAYS happy”

                or …

                “Even happy people get in bad moods”

                and …

                These statements are absolutely accurate.

                Happy people aren’t always happy and they DO get into bad moods. They get overwhelmed, they feel defeated, and their feelings get hurt.

                Happy people aren’t invincible and they feel pain just like everyone else. The only difference between happy people and people who let negativity run their lives is that…

                Happy people quickly acknowledge their pain and they make a decision to find a way to transform their pain into something greater. They also use these 13 simple ways to shake off the sadness.

                Happy people admit the negativity they feel and they do what it takes to get back into their natural state: happiness.

                When your end goal is happiness, then you will find a way to achieve it no matter how much strength you have to muster.

                3. Happy People Have a Happy Self-Image

                We all have an image in our minds that we subconsciously live up to.

                The reason that change is so hard is because our subconscious mind is programmed to live by how we define ourselves.

                How are you currently defining yourself?

                For happy people, they see themselves with a smile, positive outlook, and/or a bounce in their step. When an event or situation arises that brings in a negative emotion, they quickly change their state to resemble their natural self-image.

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                When happy people are in a bad mood, it feels unusual to them because feeling negative isn’t aligned with how they see themselves.

                When they feel upset, they acknowledge the negativity and look for a solution to bring their emotions to the level of how they perceive themselves.

                Look at how you define yourself today – your mind and body are always trying to live up to the definition it is taught to believe.

                Your body’s job is to keep you in a “normal” state because this is where it feels most comfortable.

                If your self-image is happy, then your mind and body will naturally be brought back to where it feels at home. Your actions will be a clue to how you define yourself.

                4. Happy People Have a Strong Support System

                The happiest people know that it takes a village and they lean on others for support.

                Happy people feel comfortable reaching out for help when they feel that their resistances are overpowering them. They quickly sense their negativity and they tell somebody.

                Happy people ask for assistance when they can’t figure out a problem. Seeking help takes strength and it never gets in the way of their self-worth. Happy people appreciate the wisdom that their support system provides.

                They have strong connections with the people who are close to them. They never trudge through tough times alone because jeopardizing their happiness for too long would be detrimental to their well-being.

                5. Happy People Safeguard Their Minds from Negative Triggers

                Warding off negativity is almost impossible when we live in a society that lives by what went wrong and feeds off of what could go wrong. News travels instantaneously so it would be unrealistic to shut this out of your life completely.

                However, one strategy that happy people use to safeguard their minds is regulating their environment.

                We have a lot of control on how we allow our environments to affect us. We can control our social media feed, the television shows and movies we watch, the books that we read, the people that we spend our time with, and the places that we hang out.

                If happiness is your end goal, then take a good look at what is bringing you down. What triggers your unhappiness? See if there is anything in your environment that can be changed……

                What we listen to, read, and who we hang out with influence our mind, what we think about, what we worry about, our reactions, and behaviors.

                Happy people know what triggers a feeling of negativity and it feels out of alignment for them so they do what it takes to avoid it.

                They might regulate their social media news feed to reflect the information that brings them positive energy. They might regulate the people that they spend their time with. It is important to hang out with like-minded people.

                What are you triggers? How can you avoid the negativity in your environment?

                These are ways that happy people regulate their environment and safeguard their minds.

                6. Happy People Know When to Say “No”

                Happy people know when to sit one out and say “no.” They do this to protect their happiness and well-being.

                Life gets overwhelming – a lot of people need our attention and the to do list can seem never ending.

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                Happy people give themselves permission to take the day off and they feel comfortable with saying “no” when their stress levels begin to climb. They understand that those around them aren’t benefiting from someone who is frazzled, overwhelmed, and tired.

                A happy person identifies their negative emotion and then they quickly treat it to bring themselves back to their “normal” state, so that they can be at their best for not only themselves but for those around them, too.

                A simple “no” can ultimately mean many more “yes’s” in the future because happiness has a long battery life. You can take a look at Leo Babauta’s article The Gentle Art of Saying No and learn to say no.

                7. Happy People Are Good Evaluators

                Happy people can quickly sense when something is off with themselves or others. They are very intuitive to happiness levels. When someone isn’t quite right, they are the first ones to notice.

                Being able to evaluate happiness means that you can identify when negativity is lingering around for too long.

                We all have bad days; however, the happy person evaluates often and quickly intervenes.

                In other words, happy people frequently evaluate their state and immediately change when their pessimism is overshadowing their joy.

                8. Happy People Bring Other People Up

                What goes on inside of us is mirrored into our physical world.

                What we think about literally consumes our life and is displayed in our work, relationships, and attitude.

                Happy people naturally feel good inside and about themselves so they treat others the way that they treat themselves. It never feels forced to give a compliment or to help out a stranger.

                When we are truly happy with ourselves, everyone around us has a better experience. Happy people are kind to themselves and because of this, it feels natural to them to want to make others’ happy, too.

                9. Happy People Go After Their Dreams

                Happy people are always following the joyful path. They make happy-based decisions and because of this, they always end up where they want to be.

                It’s absolutely impossible to be happy by following an undesirable path, which is quite opposite for unhappy people.

                Most people journey through life on a path they think they are “supposed” to be own. Warning signs (negativity) are often ignored because they truly believe that these feelings are a normal part of life.

                Negativity is NOT normal.

                The happiest people investigate the negativity in their life and quickly analyze the results. This process allows them to get back on the joyful path which ends in a desirable outcome.

                Follow your happiness and your dreams will come true (If that isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is!)

                In addition to happiness, here are 14 amazing things that happen when you live your passion.

                10. Happy People Never Sweat the Small Stuff

                The only expectation that the happy person has is that they remain in a joyful state.

                They rarely have expectations for the events and people in their lives because they know that this is a sure way to get let down.

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                The happiest people take life as it comes – you could say that they roll with the punches. When you don’t have expectations, thenyoue can just sit back and watch how beautifully life unfolds.

                Happy people understand that bad things are inevitable, they are a part of life – The car will break, the kids will make mistakes, people will be late, and dinner will burn.

                If it’s not anything seriously affecting their lives, then they don’t give their energy to it.

                11. Happy People Rarely Have to Prove That They Are Right

                Happy people remember that it’s more important to live up to what they believe. When you live your life aligned with your belief system, then there is no need to explain or prove yourself to others.

                Differences in opinions are inevitable, but the happiest of people know it’s wasted energy to defend their position.

                It is more effective to simply show people, through actions, how you think, feel, and what you believe.

                Energy is saved, arguments are diminished, and credibility/respect are gained when we live by what we believe.

                12. Happy People Smile (Even When They Don’t Want To)

                Smiling is one of the healthiest things we can do; and happy people use this simple trick quite often.

                It has been proven that smiling has the ability to boost your immune system, decrease stress levels, and can even make you look younger. The benefits of smiling have even been backed up by science.[1]

                Better yet, smiling is contagious. When you engage in a quick smile, you are likely to brighten someone else’s day along with your own. It is no wonder why happy people smile often!

                13. Happy People Live Life in the Present Moment.

                When we are genuinely happy, we are living for the moment.

                Happy people let go of the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. They take the moments for what they are worth – they only invest their energy in what feels right to them.

                Everyone is capable of living a happy-centered life. You deserve a life that you desire – your dream life. All you have to start doing is make happy-based decisions TODAY.

                In every moment, decide on what makes you happy – decide on what gets you excited. Stop doing what you don’t love, don’t listen to the people that you dislike.

                If you are engaging in something that isn’t bringing you joy, then quit doing it. Listen to your heart, stop ignoring the warning signs (negativity) because they are there for a reason.

                I have observed, studied, and interviewed some of the happiest and most successful people along with some of the most miserable and self-loathing.

                It starts with one decision – happiness.

                The happiest, most successful people choose happiness with EACH and EVERY decision. And you can start doing this today.

                Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Harvard Business Review: The Science Behind the Smile

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